White House Office of Public Engagement Director Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Monday she would be stepping down after serving within the Biden administration since June.
Bottoms, the former mayor of Atlanta, described her tenure in the White House as an ‘extraordinary season.’
‘Term ended in January 2022,’ she wrote in a tweet. ‘I didn’t take a break, planning to work hard for 6 months and relax over the summer. @WhiteHouse called again in June and I said, ‘I’ll stay just thru midterms in November.’ Months later this extraordinary season soon ends. Thanks family and @POTUS.’
Bottoms opted not to run for re-election for Atlanta mayor in 2021. The Democrat was initially hired at CNN as a political commentator after her exit from the mayor’s office, but later announced she would serve the Biden Administration beginning in June 2022.
Bottoms revealed on Instagram that she joined the White House for what she believed to be a short-term assignment that ended up lasting longer.
‘I had a WHOLE plan for how life would go after my term ended as Mayor, none of which included joining the White House,’ she wrote on Monday. ‘After saying yes to what I thought would be a short term assignment, I was asked to stay much longer. It has been a privilege to work alongside @potus, @vp, and an extraordinary team in making a difference. I am grateful for the sacrifice my family has made and for the opportunity to represent all of who we are and all our ancestors believed we could be.’
President Biden said in a statement that Bottoms ‘kept equity at the heart of our agenda, and continues to serve as the connective tissue between our Administration and everyday Americans who may not have a voice to reach Washington otherwise.’
‘I have leaned on Keisha as a close advisor with exceptional instincts, and I am grateful to her for serving our nation with honor and integrity. I wish her the best as she returns home to Atlanta to be with her family,’ the president wrote.
Bottoms’ vacated position as White House Office of Public Engagement director will be filled by former Columbia, South Carolina, mayor Stephen Benjamin. He served as mayor from 2010 to 2021, as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 2018 to 2019 and as president of the African American Mayors Association from 2015 to 2016.